Children's Hospital

40 College Crescent, Hampstead, NW3 5LB

Medical dates:

Medical character:



The Home for Incurable Children opened in 1875 at 33 Maida Vale, providing nursing care and medical treatment (such as it was then) of children up to the age of 16 with chronic or incurable diseases.  At that time it was difficult to obtain admission at any hospital for children suffering from conditions such as spina bifida, epilepsy or rickets.

In 1883 the Hospital moved to larger premises at 2 Maida Vale.

In 1904 it moved to its final home - Northcourt, a mansion at 40 College Road in Hampstead.  The detached house had been built in 1880 for the businessman Samuel Palmer, who ran the London office of Huntley & Palmer Biscuits, Reading.  Palmer died in 1903, having gifted the house to a hospital charity.

In 1910 the number of beds was increased from 45 to 56.

In 1919, as many of the disorders which were once incurable could now be treated, its name was changed to the Northcourt Hospital for Sick Children.

In 1928 it became the Hampstead Hospital for Children but in the following year was renamed the Children's Hospital, Hampstead, to avoid confusion with the Hampstead General Hospital.

In 1936 it had 63 beds.

By 1938 the number of beds had been reduced to 45.  The Hospital closed at the beginning of WW2 when the War Office requisitioned the building.  During the war years various plans were mooted for its future use, including the possibility of a merger with the Hampstead General Hospital, but nothing came of these.

When the NHS came into being in 1948 the Hospital became part of the Royal Free Group, but the children were treated elsewhere.  The building was first used as the Royal Free Hospital's Preliminary Training School for nurses and later became a Nurses' Home until it was sold in 1995.  By this time the building had become dilapidated and did not meet fire standards.  It was felt it would be too expensive for the NHS to renovate.

Present status (December 2007)

The building lay vacant and neglected until 2004, when it was purchased by Harvestglen Properties Ltd for use as a budget hotel.  It was completely refurbished and modernised, while retaining many of the unique features of the Grade II listed building.

It is now known as Palmers Lodge and is a boutique backpackers' hostel.

N.B. Photographs obtained in February 2012


The first site of the Hospital, at No. 33 Maida Vale, is now occupied by Clarendon Court (above and below).




The second site, at No. 2 Maida Vale, is occupied by Northwick House (above and below).



N.B. Photographs obtained in December 2007

Palmers Lodge Hostel

The front elevation of the former Hospital building in College Crescent.

Palmers Lodge Hostel

The main entrance.

Pelmers Lodge Hostel

The building with its entrance driveway (above and below).

Palmers Lodge Hostel


Palmers Lodge Hostel

The garage next door may have been one of the original Hospital buildings.


N.B. Photographs obtained in July 2016

Pelmers Lodge Hostel

The building has new signage but otherwise remains unchanged (above and below).

Palmers Lodge Hostel

Palemrs Lodge Hostel

References (Accessed 30th July 2016)

Amidon LA 1996 An Illustrated History of the Royal Free Hospital.  London, Special Trustees of the Royal Free Hospital.



http://wellcomelibrary.org (1)

http://wellcomelibrary.org (2)






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